LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that a new era of development and mutual cooperation between Pakistan and People’s Republic of China has started in the tenure of Pakistan Muslim League-N and the Chinese leadership.

He was talking to Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Sun Weidong in Islamabad on Sunday.

Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations and investment package were discussed in the meeting.

He said that Pak-China friendship had turned into useful economic contacts. He said that Pakistani nation is grateful to Chinese leadership for the confidence it has reposed in the leadership of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

He said that fullest cooperation and investment by China in energy, transport and infrastructure sectors in Pakistan will directly benefit its people.

The Chief Minister said that people of Pakistan were proud of their unswerving friendship with China which has stood the test of time. He said that the record investment of 32 billion dollars by China and the measures taken for promotion of mutual trade and economic cooperation between the two countries augur well and are a gift for the people of Pakistan.

Shahbaz said that these historic measures will be helpful in resolving energy crisis and solution of the problems of Pakistani people.

He said that every penny of Chinese investment package of 32 billion dollars will be spent on the welfare of the Pakistani people honestly and transparently.

Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government had adopted fast track policy for the implementation of the projects started with the Chinese cooperation.

He said that these efforts were not only creating attractive opportunities of Chinese investment but new avenues of employment and trade are also opening for the people of Pakistan. He said that China had made tremendous progress and Pakistani leadership wants to benefit from Chinese expertise in resolving the problems being faced by the country.

He said that friendly relations between China and Pakistan have entered into a new era and are an example for the world.

He said that Pakistan has learnt the lesson of progress and prosperity from China and Pakistan Muslim League-N government is moving forward with commitment and determination to make Pakistan a developed country while energy crisis and other problems will also be resolved.

The Chief Minister thanked the Chinese Ambassador for investment by Chinese companies besides cooperation and encouragement of economic activities in Pakistan.

He said that China had proved to be a true friend of Pakistan. He said in addition to financial and technical assistance, China had also taken practical measures for the promotion of investment in Pakistan due to which its economy is strengthening.

The Chinese Ambassador while expressing sentiments of goodwill for the Pakistani people and leadership said that Chinese President and Prime Minister have full confidence in Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and holds him in high esteem.

He said that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif had made a great contribution during recent years for strengthening Pak-China friendship and Chinese leadership highly values his commitment and hard work.

The Chinese Ambassador also extended invitation to Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on behalf of the Communist Party to visit China.

Earlier, Chief Minister met Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Abdul Aziz Saleh Al-Ghadeer at his residence in Islamabad. Bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting. The Chief Minister said that Pak-Saudi friendship is based on strong historical and spiritual bonds.

He said that people of Pakistan are proud of their friendship with Saudi Arabia and have deep affiliation with the Saudi Arabian people.

He said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government highly values its ties with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Ambassador said that Saudi Arabia wants to see Pakistan a strong, stable and prosperous country under the leadership of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and bilateral cooperation is being promoted for this purpose. He assured full cooperation of Saudi Arabia for the prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong has said that Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has played an active role in strengthening Pak-China friendship during recent years and his services in this regard are commendable.

Sun Weidong said that Chinese leadership highly values the hard work and determination of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Chinese Ambassador while presenting a crystal model of tiger to Shahbaz Sharif as a gift lauded the efforts of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for the development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

He said that like the souvenir, Pakistan will also become an Asian tiger. He asked Shahbaz Sharif to place this model on his office table as it will remind him of Pak-China friendship and motivate him to make Pakistan an Asian tiger. The Chief Minister thanked Chinese Ambassador and warmly shook hands.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the sad demise of Javed Qureshi, former Chief Secretary Punjab.

In a condolence message, the Chief Minister said that Javed Qureshi was an honest and dutiful officer. He prayed that may Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage and strength to the bereaved family to bear the loss with fortitude.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif has taken strict notice of the news regarding nomination of a 15 months old child in a wall- chalking case in Jalalpur Jattan, Gujrat. The Chief Minister sought a report from Inspector General Police and directed him to take legal action to remove the name of the child from the case.